Please help - swollen ankle

I was recently diagnosed as hypothyroid and have been on levo 50 mcg for about 6 weeks. Was retested end of last week and levels are back in range but not optimal yet (doing a separate post about this!). My question is that although I am definitely feeling much better, I am less tired, my skin crawling has almost gone away, my skin is less dry and eczema more manageable, in the last week I have developed a swollen left ankle.

It started as a round swelling behind my ankle bone on the inside and then moved to a spot on the inside of my foot. It has now moved up and is on the lower part of my leg. It doesn't hurt but is uncomfortable and am very concerned it is going to get worse. It feels swollen but is soft to the touch and isn't red or discoloured. Could this be a hypothyroid symptom?

I also have low in range ferritin (27 when last tested), it was very low, and have been struggling to get the level up and maintain it).

I have also had a slightly elevated APTT test recently (clotting time) and globulins (liver function) which consultant wants to repeat.



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13 Replies

  • Swollen ankles are a symptom of under-active thyroid. My ankles have swollen up in the hot weather despite being optimally medicated. Left is worse than the right. You may find it gets better when you are at the right dose.

  • I really hope so. I have been out today and kept having to sit down, stand up, walk around, elevate leg to stop it being uncomfortable. Feel like an old woman. So depressed to have yet another symptom.

  • Also, is it normal for it to only be on one leg, only on the inside, and also half way up the calf.

    Why am I getting a new symptom when the others have all got better?

  • I used to get swollen ankles before I was optimally medicated, they are definitely a thyroid symptom and mine were worst if the weather was hot so you might find they will get a bit better once the weather cools down.

  • Does anything help it or make it worse (obviously other than the optimal meds of course!)? Am trying to keep leg elevated as much as poss as this makes it feel better.

  • I get my husband to give my feet a massage, doesn't actually make the swelling go down but boy dose it feel good. I found putting cool compress on seemed to help mine

  • OK thanks I'll try that.

  • Please bear in mind this is just a hunch rather than any medical expertise but if I had a lump/swelling that had literally moved from ankle to bottom of foot and then up to leg, I would be inclined to get it checked to ensure not a blood clot. I have literally no knowledge of these things so have no idea if any basis to it or whether you should take any account to what I'm saying lol but swellings don't normally travel like that and I know of nothing else?

    Or do you mean the swelling has just spread to these areas?

  • Just read the bit about your APTT which is clotting and I think globulins are also involved in clotting so personally, especially where only in one leg, I would get it checked out immediately.

    I could be completely mistaken but better safe than sorry :-)

  • it's spread on my right leg rather than moved. It's also started a little on my left leg in the same place so think it's unlikely it's a blood clot. I'm away at the moment so may call 111 to be safe as you suggest though.

  • Called 111 who told me to call home GP, who told me to call local GP, who asked me to go in! They've had a look and it looks ok (i.e. Not a blood clot). Most likely swelling caused by tendon trauma of some kind although I don't recall anything. Reassuring that it's not a clot and unlikely to be hypothyroid related. Told me to keep "pumping" the calf muscle as this apparently gets the lymph system going to move the fluid around.

  • I am waiting for my first appointment in the Lympthoedema Clinic. You may wish you ask GP for a referal. Where I am, South Wales, we can't make self referal have to be referred by GP or any hospital doctor. Will you be seen in Orthopaedic Clinic with this? If so you could ask them to refer you.

  • Dear Minimum - hope your dose is helping your ankles. As for the feritin levels if you are prescribed iron tablets see if you can have slow release with vitamin C as the vitamin helps absorption and the slow release stops nausea and constipation. Sometimes you can get swollen legs with a chest infection. You may not even have a cough but still have an infection.

    May be you should have your lungs checked. In hot weather it is common for women especially to get swollen legs. If you have a warm tepid shower, or place your feet in a tepid bowl of tepeid water, this can help the swelling. If water is too cold you might feel uncomfortable. Gentle massage upwards towards the calf might help. Peppermint foot lotion from the body shop is great to cool off your feet. An unusual treatment is to wrap cabbage leaves round your swollen legs with loose tea towels or bandages. This can help the swelling.

    This treatment is used for mastitis in some areas. Aloe vera is soothing gel used for sunburn

    and is cooling . Hope you feel better soon.

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